24 January 2022
A newly formed volunteer coalition comprising some of the nation’s most passionate sports administrators has joined forces to shape the future of sport volunteering in Australia.
Sport Australia’s inaugural Sport Volunteer Coalition includes experts from the sports industry, government and volunteering who will work together to transform the sport volunteer experience and promote the value of volunteering in sport.
The coalition, which is a key part of Sport Australia’s Sport Volunteering National Plan, will play a critical role in supporting the sector to develop strategies that help keep our clubs open and our communities active.
Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said: “Sport has the biggest volunteer base of any industry in Australia and is estimated to be worth $4 billion a year but we risk losing our volunteers if we don’t provide opportunities that suit them.”
“We’ve identified five elements that should underpin all volunteer experiences – including making it easy to be involved, being supported and tailoring roles to meet individual needs.
“I’m looking forward to drawing on the expertise provided by our coalition members to develop and implement the plan and assist sports to navigate the evolving volunteer landscape.”
The coalition is made up of a diverse group of individuals from across the country that bring unique experiences and knowledge from a broad range of sports including golf, badminton, surf life saving and Australian rules football. It will be chaired by Sport Australia’s Director of Sport Programs, Dr Lindsey Reece.
Surf Life Saving Australia CEO and lifelong member of Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club Adam Weir said: “As a member of the Sport Volunteer Coalition I hope to provide valuable input on the issues that impact our large volunteer landscape. I look forward to working with other stakeholders in the sport sector to share the challenges and successes we’ve had and to work towards creating the best volunteer experience, which is welcoming to everyone, is flexible and tailored towards people’s changing needs.”
Volunteering Australia’s National Strategy Director Sarah Wilson said she hopes to bring greater awareness to the critical role volunteers play in enabling sport to take place across Australia.
“I also hope to contribute to evidence-based solutions that improve the accessibility of sport volunteering to ensure people of all ages, genders, sexual orientation, abilities, backgrounds and cultures can participate.”
Female Engagement Manager at Golf Australia Megan Carr added: “As a member of the coalition, I’m excited to play a role in developing strategies to assist volunteers nationally in the delivery and support of organised sport. This opportunity allows me to contribute and play a significant role in the future of sport volunteering.”
Sport Australia congratulates and thanks the following members of the inaugural Sport Volunteer Coalition:
- Sarah Wilson, Volunteering Australia
- David Brett, Office of Sport, NSW Government
- Jessica Cook, Department of Tourism, Innovation & Sport, QLD Government
- Lisa Hasker, Vicsport
- Adam Weir, Surf Life Saving Australia
- Jamie Parsons, Badminton Australia
- Megan Carr, Golf Australia
- Alex Burgin, AFL
- Garry West-Bail, Australian Sporting Alliance for People with a Disability
Members join the coalition on a two-year term with the first meeting scheduled for next month.